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Get in Front of Your Customers with Windows 8

As the release of Windows 8 approaches, now is the time to get in front of your customers as the go-to partner. Every new release presents partners with the opportunity to educate customers and prospects, building credibility as an expert. This year is a bonanza for Microsoft partners. 

Lead, Don't Follow
Many partners wait until after a new version is released to start the conversation with customers, either because they assume customers aren't interested until release or to distance themselves from risk of a flop. This is a lost opportunity to lead.

Those partners who initiate the conversations early establish their commitment to help customers make educated decisions about new version adoption. Customers are thinking about the future. Partners should be leading the way.   

Get Marketing Started
While Microsoft's corporate marketing is ramping up, you can insert yourself as the guiding expert with educational marketing campaigns. As with all marketing, choose the tactics that you are most comfortable with and will execute well.

  • Blog posts and newsletter articles about Windows 8 should add your interpretation of the value of new features. Help your customer envision the impact on their business. 

     
  • E-mail campaigns for Windows 8 should include strong calls to action (ideas below).

  • In-person events are very powerful for building your stature as an expert. The Community Connections program helps you connect to local professional organizations. If you have a Microsoft store in your town, book it for your event.

  • Webinars are easy to schedule and promote to your in-house list.

In every communication, remind your prospects of the value you can add through services. Focus on the value: What will that customer save by working with you?

Resources To Help
Microsoft has some great resources to help you get started on the Ready-to-Go Marketing Site. The Sneak Peek at Windows 8 campaign has a variety of tools, including:

  • The RTG presentations for SMB and Enterprise customers can do double duty. Use them as presentations for your event, but also repurpose some of the content for a quick e-book call to action.

  • Videos posted to your Web site can serve as good calls to action in your blog posts and e-mails.

  • The Windows 8 Release Preview is a great document, but it's mighty long. Breaking it up into pieces as calls to action for a nurture campaign could be more effective. 

If you want some help with topics and insights that you can share with customers through your Web site and blog posts, use the Microsoft customer-facing sites for inspiration. A few places to look:

Opportunity for Every Type of Partner
This is obviously a great time for Learning and SI partners, but no matter what kind of partner you are there is opportunity to take advantage of the Windows 8 release. ISVs who sell through the channel can write articles for their partners' newsletters and blogs. Dynamics partners can offer strategic planning to customers -- partnering with an SI could open more doors for both. 

You Are the Expert
Your customers look to you for advice on the technology they use to grow their business. Build their trust and your importance to their business by getting in front of Windows 8.

How are you educating your customers on Windows 8? Please tell me about it so we can share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on August 16, 2012


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